Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Avatar Land in Disney Animal Kingdom Park

Avatar Land in Disney Animal Kingdom Park
Disney is planning on adding an Avatar themed land to the Disney Animal Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World. I think it is a bad idea as the movie is not Disney and is just not real enough to be part of DAK. DAK is a reality based park that is part Animal Park/Zoo and part theme park with rides and shows. It is totally unique and the entire focus of the park is to encourage people to learn about the world around them and how they can help protect nature. Avatar, while encourage conservation and understanding of “nature” has nothing to do with reality or our world.
The following is a description of what the plans are so far for Avatar Land.
Avatar Land will be a themed area at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida based upon the film franchise by James Cameron. Construction will begin in 2013, with the land expected to open between 3 and 5 years later.
In Spring 2011, James Cameron was approached by The Walt Disney Company's chief executive officer, Bob Iger, regarding the possibility of Avatar-themed attractions in Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.[4] On September 17, 2011, a long-term, exclusivity deal was signed between Disney, James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment. This deal was officially announced to the public on September 20, 2011, on the Disney Parks Blog. The highlight of the announcement was that Disney's Animal Kingdom would receive a new themed area dubbed Avatar Land. The area is set to cost approximately $500 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2013, with a planned opening date between 3 and 5 years later. The deal could see Avatar attractions added to other Disney theme parks in the future, however, there are no immediate plans to do so.
Avatar Land will be designed by Walt Disney Imagineering with Avatar producers James Cameron and Jon Landau also providing creative assistance. The area will be an immersive world based upon the fictional exoplanetary moon, Pandora. Avatar Land is expected to span several acres and will feature multiple rides and attractions, entertainment, audio-animatronics, 3-D holograms as well as retail, food and beverage outlets. Although exact details of the attractions have not yet been announced or even devised,  James Cameron confirmed that a flying attraction featuring "3-D projections and creature designs that were cut from the original film" was a concept on the drawing board for the area.  Avatar Land will include elements from the original Avatar film as well as its two, yet-to-be-released sequels.
Although it has been announced that Avatar Land will be added to Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney Imagineering is yet to determine a precise in-park location. It has been reported that Avatar Land will make use of the undeveloped land originally earmarked for the Beastly Kingdom, a never-built themed land which would have been based around mythological creatures.
Here is my letter to Disney World:
Dear Sirs
I am saddened to hear you are adding Avatar Land to Disney Animal Kingdom. In many Disney Fan chat rooms and around the blogosphere the chatter is overwhelmingly against the addition to DAK of a land based on the movie Avatar. Please reconsider the entire idea!
DAK is a special place that focuses on the conservation of our earth. Avatar Land is so strange an idea I think it will detract from the unique park you have worked so hard to develop. Avatar is not even Disney property so it is totally strange and out of place. Really, if you wanted to do something Avatar or had to do something Avatar themed I’d say put a ride in DHS as part of movie making.
I do agree you do need a new area in DAK and you need to bring in some mystical/magical feelings. You need something more “Disney” less real in other words. I have some ideas you may want to consider. I know your Imagineers could do much better than I can in coming up with ideas. Every culture on earth has a dragon myth. You already have a Dinoland so I think it would fit better than an Avatar Land.
Having just seen pictures of the very real miniature dragon lizard from Indonesia I thought it would be a neat way to combine both real and mystical. How about a Dragon Land? Maybe you can acquire some of the fantastic little creatures to display and therefore show the importance of protecting the environment. They have been around for a long time but never “seen” until 2009 or so.
In Dragon Land you could add rides or shows that showcase some of Disney’s famous and not so famous Dragons. Maleficent, Mad Madam Mim, Elliot and Mushu come to mind. It is possible that these little creatures are the basis of many of the old tales of dragons. You could add a show telling how stories told grow into myth.
This is just a thought freely given with no thought of being compensated for it. Feel free to use or reject any/all of the ideas and do what you do best, make it better.
Carolyn Hoagland
What do you think about Avatar Land? If you don’t like the idea write a letter to Disney! Here is a link to the Contact us page for WDW.

1 comment:

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